“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.” – Lemony Snicket
We don’t tend to value mornings much in our culture. Often, we will opt for an extra twenty minutes and bed over a decent breakfast or a shower… we’ve all been there. Whatever your morning routine, I would wager that you still recognise the image of you bolting out of the door because you cut your morning too fine. The day that follows might be fine, but your day-to-day life might be suffering due to a stressful or haphazard morning routine. Foundations are important, they keep a structure standing. If you do not take care of the foundation of your day, then the rest of it may well crumble if anything knocks you off kilter.
You should value your morning routine; a conscious one will raise the quality of your daily life significantly. Try out some of these tips and see what a difference it makes to your stress levels, and your readiness to take on challenges.
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, give yourself plenty of time. Plenty of time to fit everything in to you morning, and plenty of time to spare should anything go awry. It might seem tricky at first, but I guarantee, extra time on the sofa enjoying your morning coffee will give you more energy and drive for your day than the snooze button. If you are concerned about not getting as much sleep, then the solution is simple; go to bed earlier!
2. De-Clutter Routine
Waking up in a messy, cluttered space does not support a calming atmosphere. You want to wake up in a space that is as light and fresh as you would like to feel. Of course, I am not suggesting that you do a full scale deep clean of your bedroom every night. However, a habit such as putting away 5 things before bed every night will help to keep the clutter under control, without making it feel too much like a chore. The motion of putting objects back in their place also helps the mind to relax and begin to head towards ‘shut down’ mode.
3. Plan for Tomorrow
Do you ever end up rushing around the kitchen throwing a half-hearted lunch option together? Or get stressed trying to find an outfit for the day? The best way to deal with this is to sort all of this out the night before; lunch already in its Tupperware, clothes laid out ready for the morning, and so on. Remove all necessity to make decisions or perform chores in the morning, and then all you will have to do is enjoy the AM, and slowly ready your mind for the day ahead.
4. Natural Light
Don’t trot around in the semi-darkness in the morning. Connect to the outdoors straight away by opening your blinds and curtains as soon as you get up. Not only will the natural light wake you a little, but an immediate association with the world that you are about to go out in to eliminates the sensory shock you might experience as soon as you step outside.
Not only should you take time to make yourself a considered breakfast (an actual meal as opposed to a rushed bowl of cereal), but you should also be present and take care when preparing it. Your breakfast doesn’t have to be complex, but the act of making a meal is the perfect way to ease your brain into action; this is the nature of tactile tasks. Also, make sure you take the time to enjoy the food, as opposed to wolfing it down or eating on the move because you are short on time.
6. Built-In ‘Down Time’
Put time aside to do nothing; a gentle, calm, quiet moment. All your stuff is ready and packed in your bag, you are dressed, your breakfast stuff is cleared and washed up. Now take the last 10 minutes before you leave to release, focus and maybe enjoy the rest of your morning brew. Now you and your brain should be gently awoken, focused, and ready for what the day is to bring.
By Chris Thomson
A mindful morning routine is just one great way to take care of yourself. Here are some more: 7 Daily Practices for Self-Love
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